China, the master of high-tech weapons copying, recently successfully copied the American FGM-148 Javelin missile and named it Hongjian-12 or HJ-12.
The HJ-12 missile also has the “fire and forget” feature, which can destroy any main battle tank, according to Chinese media. HJ-12 appeared in an arms exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China, in 2014. China’s advanced anti-tank missile is equipped with an advanced infrared guidance system with the function of Lock-On Before Launch, and is capable of being fired within buildings and bunkers due to its soft launch system. Once launched, it will home autonomously onto its target, allowing the operator to immediately take cover or reload to engage another target.
Missile after being launched will automatically rush to the target vertically. The trend of making tanks with thick armor on the front, then on the sides and rear, the roof will have the thinnest armor to reduce weight. So an attack on the roof would easily destroy these tanks. The HJ-12 anti-tank missile is said to be capable of penetrating armor up to 1,100mm, which can destroy any tank.
The combat crew of the HJ-12 is also two people, similar to the American Javelin missile line. Thanks to Fire and Forget, the crew can quickly hide to avoid counterattacks. The range of the HJ-12 ranges from 200 m – 4,000 m, quite similar to the American Javelin missile.
Even the weight of the HJ-12 is quite similar to the American Javelin of 22kg, the missile weighs 17kg. The launch tube has a length of 1.25 m, an estimated diameter of 170 mm. The size of the missile was not disclosed, but it is estimated that the missile is nearly 980mm long and nearly 135mm in diameter, similar to the American Javelin.
Analysts said that the recent appearance of Javelin missiles in the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is valuable information for China to successfully develop the HJ-12. Beijing claims to have successfully exported this missiles with the designation HJ-12E in 2020. The HJ-12E is considered a cheap Javelin version on the weapons market, but it is not clear whether the quality of this missile is equal to that of the US missile.